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North Scranton standoff suspect shot self; transported to GCMC

Apr 27, 2023

Jun. 5—SCRANTON — A nearly four-hour standoff Monday in North Scranton ended with a gunshot.

A pistol cracked on Clearview Street shortly after noon and a police officer on a radio signaled a man had shot himself. Tactical teams and emergency medical services quickly moved along the 1800 block toward where police Sgt. Nicholas Hurchick confirmed the report.

The man's name was not released and his condition was not clear. He was rushed to a hospital.

The gunshot ended a standoff that began shortly before 8:30 a.m. Police did not say what set off the incident.

Hurchick said officers first received a report that a man harmed himself at 1876 Clearview St. at 8:21 a.m., followed soon by another call that a man fired a gun inside the home. Responding officers saw a man in the driveway holding a silver handgun. Efforts to negotiate with the "extremely agitated" man began, Hurchick said.

Within 10 minutes, another 15 to 20 police vehicles arrived, said Clearview Street resident John Howells. Howells' friend down the block called to tell him he needed to take shelter. Police officers huddled behind a vehicle while a man shouted and waved his arms near 1876 Clearview St.

Seen through binoculars from about 125 yards away, he appeared to have an object in his left hand.

Several others inside the home safely escaped while police kept the gunman's attention focused on them, Hurchick said.

Police closed off the area and held spectators back. Diana Renkawitz, a 57-year-old neighbor, waited eagerly for mail delivery Monday morning for a $14,000 check she won playing slot machines on DraftKings. The morning mail had to wait until the situation was resolved.

Patrolman Robert Stelmak cautioned neighbors watching from their lawns to mind where they stood.

"If you can see him, he can see you," the officer said. "Just so you're aware."

A woman who identified herself as the man's daughter arrived at 9:30 a.m. and cried "Oh, my God." She declined to speak with reporters.

Negotiations continued while tactical teams armed with rifles surrounded the Clearview Street house. Police radio chatter focused on whether the man had a gun.

Then, at around 12:10 p.m., a gunshot was heard.

"Shot fired, self-inflicted," an officer said over the radio. "He's not moving."

Paramedics loaded the man into an ambulance. He was transported to Geisinger Community Medical Center.

Contact the writer: [email protected]; 570-348-9100, x5187; @jkohutTT on Twitter.